Bruce L. Shakely, my great uncle, died Monday morning. I’ve shared a bit about him before. He was my grandfather’s brother, but because I was in many ways raised by my grandparents as much as anyone, I ended up being fortunate to have something of a relationship with Bruce Loyal, too. We only saw each other probably eight or 10 times, starting in the early 1990s, but he and Martha were from my earliest memory of them incredible people with what seemed like all the best virtues. 

And it was through him and my grandfather that I came in touch in a tangible way a bit of the “pioneer spirit of the Allegheny Mountains” that Pop spoke about.

I’ll write more about him in the future. In the meantime, I’m including his obituary from the Beaver County Times:

Bruce L. Shakely, 92, of Brighton Township, passed away at his home, surrounded by his family, Monday, January 18, 2016.

Born August 12, 1923 in Evans City, PA, he was a son of the late Clarence and Allene Shakely. After serving proudly in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II, Bruce graduated from both W&J College, Washington, PA, and MIT, becoming a research engineer with Crucible Steel. He was a longtime member of Four Mile Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder, Clerk of Session, youth group leader, and Sunday school teacher. He was an active member of the Beaver Art Group, Beaver Valley Artists and West Hills Art Group, enjoying painting and sharing his watercolors with family and friends. Bruce was a particularly proud veteran, marching in every Memorial Day Parade up until his 91st birthday.

In addition to his parents, Bruce was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 59 years, Martha Bell Shakely in 2007, along with a brother, John Shakely and his sister, Jean Eury.

He is survived by a son, Roger B. (Alison) Shakely, Arvada, CO; two daughters, Marian E. (Keith) McGaffick, Industry, and Rebecca J. (Rev. Jay McMillen) Shakely, Pittsburgh; ten grandchildren, Carrie A. McGaffick, Daniel J. (Casey) McGaffick, Stephen C. McGaffick, Kyle L. Shakely, Ross D. Shakely, Kelly T. Shakely, Michael Q. Shakely, Andrew S. McMillen, Maegan M. McMillen, and Zachery D. (Roni) McMillen, along with two great-grandsons, Reese McGaffick and Connor McMillen. Bruce will also be lovingly remembered by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, many friends, and special compassionate caretakers.

Friends will be received Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Noll Funeral Home, 333 Third St., Beaver. A funeral service will be conducted by Reverend Martin Williams, Friday, January 22, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Four Mile Presbyterian Church, Beaver. Interment will take place at Beaver Cemetery, Beaver. Online condolences may be shared at nollfuneral.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bruce’s name to Four Mile Presbyterian Church, 6078 Tuscarawas Road, Beaver, PA 15009.